Sheriff: Wife of suspected Texas gunman has been arrested

May 3, 2025   -CLEVELAND, Texas (AP) — A day after the man suspected of killing five of his neighbors in a Texas shooting was arrested, the sheriff says his wife has also been taken into custody.

Divimara Lamar Nava, 53, wife of suspect Francisco Oropeza, was in custody in connection with the Friday night shooting, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson.

Nava had previously denied knowledge of Oropeza’s whereabouts, Henderson said, but authorities believe she hid him in the home near Conroe where he was arrested Tuesday.

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Lamar Nava was arrested early Wednesday and was being held in the Montgomery County jail on a felony charge of hindering the apprehension or prosecution of a known felon, according to online jail records. The records do not list a bond for her and indicate she was arrested by state police at a home in Conroe.

A four-day manhunt for Oropeza ended Tuesday when authorities, acting on a tip, said they found the suspect hiding underneath a pile of laundry in the closet of a house.

At a news conference Wednesday morning in Coldspring, Tim Kean, chief deputy with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, said authorities spotted Oropeza, 38, on Monday afternoon in Montgomery County, prompting the lockdown of several schools.

“We did confirm that was him on foot, running but we lost track of him. That was not a false alarm. That was him,” Kean said outside the county jail.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had previously said reports of a possible sighting of Oropeza in the area was a false alarm.

Kean declined to comment on the tip the led authorities to the home where Oropeza was arrested as well as on when he had arrived or how he got to there. Kean said the home had not been previously checked by authorities.

Kean said there have been several other arrests “but I can’t go into the details on that.”

Kean said Oropeza only mildly resisted arrest and was not injured.

Kean said the home where Oropeza was arrested has a personal connection to the suspect. He declined to provide more details, but said there was no indication Oropeza was about to leave.

“I believe he thought he was in a safe spot,” Kean said.

Oropeza was expected to appear before a judge inside the San Jacinto County Jail on Wednesday and the judge would formally set his bond at $5 million, Kean said.

The home is near the community of Conroe, north of Houston and about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from his home in the rural town of Cleveland. That’s where authorities say he went next door and shot his neighbors with an AR-style rifle shortly before midnight Friday.

Oropeza had been shooting rounds on his property and attack his neighbors after they asked him to go farther away because the gunfire was keeping a baby awake, according to police.

The arrest ends what had become a widening dragnet that had grown to more than 250 people from multiple jurisdictions and had seen $80,000 in reward money offered. As recently as Tuesday morning, the FBI said that Oropeza “could be anywhere,” underlining how investigators for days struggled to get a sense of his whereabouts and candidly acknowledged they had no leads.

The tip that finally ended the chase came at 5:15 p.m., and a little more than an hour later, Oropeza was in custody, said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jimmy Paul. The alleged shooter is a Mexican national who has been deported four times between 2009 and 2016, according to U.S. immigration officials.

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